Dr Russell Viner and colleagues from the UCL Institute of Child Health in London say that the weight of a child by itself is not a reason for child protection staff to get involved.
But in an article on what they accept is a potentially contentious issue, published online today by the British Medical Journal, they suggest that it may be appropriate to consider the child protection register if the parents consistently fail to change the family's lifestyle and will not engage with outside help.
"Removing children from their parents may not help obesity. There are few data on the weight of children in public care," they say. A recent study found that 37% of children in care were overweight or obese – but almost all of them had put on weight after they were put into care.
Strange the state is so keen to lecture its subjects but doesn't seem to worry about its own charges....